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A Defiant Land

Mac/Windows

 

Author: Vox

Difficulty: 15-20

Version: 1.0.0

 

[composite=eyJ0aXRsZSI6IkEgRGVmaWFudCBMYW5kIiwidGlkIjoiMTk1NTQiLCJ0YWdzIjpbImF2ZXJudW0gdW5pdmVyc2UiLCJjb21iYXQtaGVhdnkiLCJkdW5nZW9uIGNyYXdsIiwic2hvcnQiXSwiYmdhc3AiOnsiNSI6MCwiNCI6MCwiMyI6MiwiMiI6MCwiMSI6MH19]

Composite Score: 3.0/5.0

 

Best: 0.00% (0/2)

Good: 0.00% (0/2)

Average: 100.00% (2/2)

Substandard: 0.00% (0/2)

Poor: 0.00% (0/2)

[encouragenecro]

 

[/composite]

 

Keywords: Avernum universe, combat-heavy, dungeon crawl, short

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

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A Defiant Land is a little unpolished in the ways that first scenarios typically are, but I liked it. The combat is lopsided and the backtracking gets obnoxious, but overall it's a solid first effort. The sequence before the final battle is especially impressive and might be the best use of quickfire in a scenario yet.

 

As for what didn't work, this scenario channels a lot of Diplomacy with the Dead but fails to capture any of the tension or dread that DwtD inspired. You don't see any of the aftermath that inspired your employment, and there aren't really any flavor NPCs around to talk about how scared they are after watching grandma get devoured by giant reptiles (there's a guy in the first town, but that's about it). For all intents and purposes, the citizenry are getting along just fine. There's plenty of foreboding talk from mysterious glowy-eyed drakes about big old boogeydragon Athrax, but the initial confrontation lacks teeth and the final battle is anti-climactic. It's like you can tell me that you're dangerous all you want, pal, but you're going to need to start burninating some NPCs if you want me to take this serious. I think the moral of the scenario is that dragons talk big but go down like chumps.

 

[rating]Average[/rating]

 

Also, with apologies to the author:

 

When I encountered the mirror puzzle, my first instinct was to move the mirrors up the stairs themselves and beeline for the control panel. This worked so well that I assumed it wasn't the intended solution. I reloaded and fiddled with the mirrors for a few minutes before giving up and reverting to my original lazy plan. There's an elegant design here that's muddled up in the archaic way this game handles elevation and lasers.

 

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Wow! When's the last time I rated a scenario? A Defiant Land is clearly a first effort scenario, as it had a few quirks about it. I could not find a place to buy food anywhere in the scenario, but I guess it doesn't matter as it seems. I didn't have to do much resting outdoors. The dialogue of the NPCs, even the major ones were a bit bland.

 

It seems the plot is that some evil monster is taking over the valley with its lizard army. For quite a while it's basically running out to the unknown, finding a crucial plot point, and reporting back. The back and forth walk grew to be a bit annoying.

 

When the villain finally shows himself, I was not really that intimidated by him. He just all talk and no fight. The fact he lets you into his lair, has his Slith squad bring you to his quarters, and tells you that I have to warn the people in the valley above that he is going blow it up and has his Sliths finally brings you back out his castle locking the gates behind them wasn't really that satisifying. I wanted to go back into his fortress and kill the thing and all his minions (by myself) but of course the scenario doesn't allow you to do that.

 

At this point, I was stuck for a while when trying to find out the villain's plan. Bashing my head into walls everywhere, I finally figured it out but there wasn't much hints that the hermit alchemist knew the plan of the big guy. I go to the final dungeon and solve the puzzle

with ease, stopping the antagonist's plan.

 

Now here's a part I really enjoyed. After the two Drakes that were summoned by the big bad were defeated, it triggered a quickfire trap. This was really done well. It's not your average quickfire trap though. Once you were back in the mines there were earthquakes

causing all kinds of rocks to fall down to impede your escape. This was done with a nice shaking effect too. I feel that was the most exciting part of the scenario.

 

Anyway, the final fight with the boss wasn't that hard at all. Sure he could hit hard, but I hit harder and faster. He didn't last long.

The combat in the whole scenario was generally not very difficult, it's just lizard after lizard after lizard. Sure, they came in great numbers and all different types, but they were more tedious to get through than hard. I was using a party that was only slightly greater than the scenario's recommended level range.

 

Overall, the scenario was your average first effort, underdeveloped NPCs and stuff, but I actually did have a good time playing it.

That escape from the final dungeon part maybe my favorite sequence ever though. If not, it's a close second or third.

 

My Rating: [rating]Average[/rating]

 

 

 

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